General Election 2020

GE2020: Ask the Louth candidate: Ged Nash

Six questions for Louth's general election candidates

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

GE2020: Ask the candidate: Ged Nash

GE2020: Ask the candidate: Ged Nash

The Dundalk Democrat put six questions to all 15 candidates standing in the Louth constituency for General Election 2020.

Two specific questions in each of the three categories, crime, healthcare and climate change were put to the candidates.

Seven out of the 15 candidates responded. Over the next seven articles we share their responses.

The questions were as follows and the responses from Labour candidate Ged Nash are below:

Crime

  • What resources would you provide for people in Louth to keep them from drifting into criminality?
  • Do you favour decriminalisation of drugs as part of a range of measures to combat addiction? 

Environment

  • Would you support the idea of making school buses mandatory for all school goers who do not cycle of walk to school - as a means of combating climate change, promote healthy lifestyles and cutting down on rush hour traffic?
  • What public transport measures would you implement in Louth to combat climate change? - would it include free public transport for all? What investment would you make towards electric buses and when would it happen?

Healthcare

  • Would you end the use of agency healthcare workers, including nurses? Timeline?
  • What facilities would you make available in Louth to help fight mental illness and help promote good mental health?

Ged Nash responses:

Crime
Q1 I think we need to give young people a sense of purpose, a sense of community and a sense of a shared future. That means providing the best education possible, well-paid jobs and it means tacking crime so that it becomes clear to all that crime doesn’t pay and is a one-way path to a life in jail or worse.

We need properly resourced Gardai, we need the IDA to fill Louth’s business parks with employers and we need to be at the forefront of education in Ireland – for instance, getting University status for DKIT.


Q2 Yes, I do. I know that some will disagree but I am very much taken from similar approaches taken elsewhere, such as in Portugal. The sooner we start to address this issue as a medical problem and not a criminal matter is the sooner we loosen the hold of drug barons on Irish society.


Environment
Q1 I’m not sure would mandatory work, but I certainly think we can do more to reduce the dependence of pupils on cars. Labour’s proposal in the last election was to abolish all school transport charges and make travel to school using leap cards free for children. That’s what I’d like to see done.


Q2 I’d like to see more investment in public transport, over time leading to a reduction in fares. I'm glad to see the increased frequency on the D1 and the D2 and on proposals for additional local routes around County Louth and East Meath.

If we are serious in our quest to combat the crisis, then we need thinking like this. I support the plans of the NTA to bring in Electric buses across the country within the next 15 years.


Healthcare
Q1 Yes, I would end agency staff, and I’d do this, as soon as possible. We need a fully-funded adequately resourced health care system to meet the demand of our population growth and demographic changes.


Q2 This is often the part of the health service that falls through the cracks. We need to give child, adolescent and adult mental health services the funding they need to ensure that people can access the services when they need it.

We will redirect funding to local primary care centres, which will bring health services closer to closer to communities including mental health services.

These services should be free-of-charge at the point of access. Staffing will include counsellors. Improving services at local primary care level will reduce overcrowding and waiting times.

Primary care is internationally proven to lead to more efficient treatment, is more cost-effective and reduces healthcare inequalities.